This weekend the Trib has devoted a generous amount of ink and paper to differing views on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris climate accord. Those opinions range widely, from Washington Post journalist Ben Adler’s concern for both environment and economy, increasingly dependent on renewable energy and green initiatives, to conservative Texas scholar Merrill Matthews’ fears that the accord made too many demands of developed nations for environmental change, which he suggests (and with strong evidence) is already being positively affected by free-market forces.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order that may slow the closure of some US coal-fired power plants and will begin a lengthy process of rescinding much of former President Barack Obama's climate change policies.
“As humans change the landscape through urbanization, the mosquito populations also change, favoring those feeding on humans, which also appear to be major disease carriers,” said Matthews. “DDT was used heavily in the 1940s to the 1960s because it was cheap and very effective, and it apparently decimated some U.S. mosquito populations so they are only just now recovering. But even though several countries are using DDT, at least in a restricted way, there remains heavy international pressure for them to not do so.”
Political pressure from environmental groups likely trumped science in the agency’s latest report examining fracking and its risks to drinking water, according to the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI), a Texas-based think tank.
Donald Trump took the oath of office Friday promising to bring jobs back to the US and put America first in matters of trade and foreign affairs. And a statement released by his White House as soon as the power transferred to Trump touted "an America first energy plan," promising to maximize the use of American energy resources, end dependence on foreign oil and scrap burdensome regulations.
In a piece authored for The Hill’s Congress Blog, Merrill Matthews argues that EPA’s final hydraulic fracturing study should keep the conclusion set out in the report’s 2015 draft, in which the agency said it found no evidence fracking has led to “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”
Matthews said the push for renewable fuels envisioned by Clinton "is a drain on the federal coffers."
Protesters say the pipeline that would carry crude oil across four states to Illinois is a threat to sacred land, and to the Missouri River. But Merrill Matthews says since the government and company reached out for input, brought in archaeologists to produce cultural surveys involving land and rerouted the pipeline in different areas to avoid "certain sensitive areas," the environmental community sees fighting pipelines as a next major way to be able to try to essentially hinder the fossil fuel industry.
"By moving their small cars to Mexico, which has skilled but cheaper labor, Ford hopes to break even or make a little profit off of them” said Merrill Matthews.